Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Geography This Week: Ireland

We decided to study one country all week this week, and I let the Bibliophile pick.  He chose Ireland.  I didn't really want to do St. Patrick's Day type crafts (rainbows and leprechauns and green things), although he has been on a huge rainbow-drawing kick lately, so we have done plenty of those anyway.  We came up with a fun assortment of activities:

We started out by making a simple Irish flag.  He colored the flag green, white, and orange where I had labeled it, and then I cut it out and we glued it to a popsicle craft stick together.

The next day, using a flashcard from our landmarks set, I told him about Blarney Castle and the story of the Blarney Stone.  I printed a simple handout for him that explained:
Blarney Stone Craft
Blarney Castle has a Blarney Stone.  People from all over the world go to see the Blarney Stone.  And when they see it, they kiss it!  People think that if they kiss the stone, it will give them “the gift of gab.”  This means that it will make them talk very well (and a lot!). 

Make your own Blarney Stone!

Find a rock outside.  Wash it off.  Write “My Blarney Stone” on it.  Kiss the rock.  Practice the “gift of gab!”
We found a rock together and created our Blarney Stone.  Then we took turns kissing it and pretending to have the "gift of gab."  This was a lot of fun.  It started out with him just saying nonsense words very quickly, but then he got the hang of it, and most often said, "IkissedtheBlarneyStoneandnowIcantalkverywell!" at lightening speed.

Charlie Needs a CloakWe read a great book about a sheep farmer called Charlie Needs a New Cloak.  It is especially wonderful for anyone with an interest in spinning wool or fiber arts (and if your name happens to be Charlie AND you like spinning wool AND you are related to the Bibliophile, well, just keep checking your mailbox).  The story follows along with Charlie as he makes himself a new cloak, from shearing the sheep to washing the wool, spinning it into yarn, dying the yarn with berries he picks, making cloth using a loom, and cutting and sewing the final garment.  It doesn't technically say that the story is set in Ireland, but it is about a sheep farmer, and certainly looks like it could be Ireland.  We read the book and talked about how Ireland has a lot of sheep, just like Daddy's home country of New Zealand.  (We probably would have done a sheep craft, but we did one recently).

We also made sure to hunt down Ireland's landscaped plot and flag when we went to visit a local Peace Garden recently.

And we made Bangers and Mash for lunch one day (with Applegate Farms chicken apple sausage).  I was thrilled that he ate it, because new foods are ALWAYS a challenge.  Bangers and mash is a bit more British than Irish I suspect, but I think they eat their share in Ireland too.

And of course we took the time to find Ireland on his Hugg-a-Planet and Europe Geopuzzle.  Maybe tomorrow we'll squeeze in some Irish music.

Next week the Bibliophile has chosen: Iceland!  It didn't sound like the easiest choice to plan for when he first announced it, but I have thought of a few fun ideas, so we'll see how it goes.

I am linking this post up with  stART at A Mommy's Adventures and the Geography/History linkup at Children Grow, Children Learn, Children Explore.

Comment: Have you done any geography-related fun activities this week?  Have any Irish crafts you particularly liked and would like to recommend for the brief remainder of our week?  How about Iceland?  (I'm thinking viking helmet, volcanic activity of some kind, and something with a nonfiction book I found at the library.  I think I have even found some Icelandic foods that will work with his allergies).

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Debbie said...

I love everything you did here especially the Blarney Stone! Great job incorporating so many different elements into your study. Thank you for linking up this week.

MaryAnne said...

According to my Irish friend, bangers and mash is VERY Irish! In fact, his English wife complains because she's vegetarian and that's practically all his family eats. Ireland is quite famous (and infamous, due to the potato famine) for its potatoes =)

Raising a Happy Child said...

Apparently, there is some Blarney Stone in our neighborhood, and my daughter secretly kissed it when she was a toddler. You had a great Irish unit! I had one for St Patrick's Day and Anna's favorite craft was a green ring from shiny pipecleaners. We didn't do iceland yet, but I am also thinking "fire and ice" and maybe geysers. I am looking forward to see what you will do. Oh, and I want to look for Charlie book - Anna really likes the books that explain how things work or how they are made.

Sam and Boo Book Reviews said...

I'm so woefully non-creative when it comes to stuff like this. Great job. I love the Blarney Stone. And yes, I've been served bangers and mash by my Irish relatives. Also my English ones, but countries right beside each other tend to have a lot of overlap.

Looks like you may have to systematically work your way through all the national wikipedia entries to get ideas! Let me know if and when you get to Canada. :)

Infant Bibliophile said...

@Raising Geisers are a great idea! And I remember a fiction book set in Iceland! I'm so excited to pick it up today. "How the ladies stopped the wind."

@SamandBoo Good to know I have a Canada expert! I've been letting the little guy pick, and there isn't much rhyme or reason to where he chooses, so we'll see what's next. :)

@MaryAnne Yes, I was thinking Ireland/potatoes connection!

Debbie thank you! The Blarney Stone was my favorite of the week too. :)

April said...

I've seen so many great geography posts lately, I think I might have to try some activities with my kid. That book looks good, I love Tomie dePaola. Coming through from stART.

RedTedArt said...

What a great geography lesson! LOve it. My son (2.5yrs) is only just getting that there are "other parts of the world", mainly thanks to relatives living in Austria..

This will be great soon.

Would love for you to link up with me new Kids Get Crafty, every Wednesday on Red Ted Art. Here is the current post!

Hope to "see you there"



An Almost Unschooling Mom said...

I love the Blarney Stone - but I think everyone here already has enough of the gift of gab! :)

Renee at Applegate said...

My husband is from the UK, and after 5 years in England, we just moved back to the US this summer. I miss bangers and mash very much and happy to hear that you use Applegate Chicken and Apple Sausages! Renee and the Applegate Crew

Infant Bibliophile said...

@Redtedart My son is only 2 years, 9 months. You'd be surprised how much they can pick up! You can also check out our post on 10 Geography Activities for Two Year Olds:

Christy said...

This is great. I love the Blarney Stone!

JDaniel4's Mom said...

The stone came out so well. I love the book. It is great for teaching so many reading skills.

Britt said...

I had my Bridal pictures taken at the Peace Gardens. They're awesome. Haven't taken the kids, though. We should do that...

We talked about geography a LOT during the World Cup!